What to eat for pre-race/event/ride meals is a question of the ages. It ranges from "nothing but coffee" to the "lumberjack special" at the local diner. I personally don't believe that after a full night's sleep starting an event on an empty stomach is the way to go, but I know folks have had success with this model.
As always, if you have any food allergies or sensitivities, make sure you take them into consideration.
I've found this works well for me, and I know many folks are on the oatmeal train. All my additions were gathered from watching other folks and just trial and error.
My "top secret oatmeal recipe" and some breakfast tips:
1/3 to 1/2 cups of rolled or quick oats (with no added flavorings or sugars)
1/4 cup organic frozen (but thawed in fridge) blueberries
1 big tablespoon of organic peanut butter
1/4 cup granola
1 scoop chia seeds
1 tablespoon of ground flax (not on race days)
1 tablespoon of flax seed oil (what I switched back to recently--I like the taste)
1/4 cup coconut or almond milk (or regular whole milk if that's your thing)
1/2 to 1 scoop of whey protein powder
A large teaspoon of coconut oil
A dash of salt if I'm feeling it, but lately I've been cutting this out
Some days I'll fry and egg and throw that in there instead of the protein powder. Might not sound great, but it's good!
I usually just throw the oats and blueberries in the bowl with the water, microwave for 90 seconds, and then add all the other goodness.
I find this really stays with me for a long time, and gives me some great nutrients to start the day.
I always try to eat 1.5-2 hours before I ride, and at 3 hours before a race.
I also make sure I drink at least 16 oz of water before my coffee, then water with my coffee. We can get pretty dehydrated throughout the night.
Other good ideas would be french toast on multigrain bread with fruit and limited syrup (if any). Multigrain pancakes with extra eggs and nuts added.
In a pinch I'll have peanut butter on toasted mutligrain bread. I've actually raced on this with success when I've been away at races. Sometimes the races start so early I'm eating before any restaurants are open. This is particularly useful if no microwave is available. However, as long as you can get hot water, oatmeal is super simple.
I think the three biggest take-aways are:
And, as always, no experimenting on race/event day! Try out any new ideas well in advance under similar conditions.
Coach B.L. is the head coach at BJL Coaching and an avid racer and cycling enthusiast himself.